December 25, 2017 Lebanon Middle East

Our Family's Annual Christmas Feasts

It has been a tradition to write about our family annual Christmas dinner spent at my in-laws. My mother-in-law has been enchanting our lives with her fantastic cooking ideas, and this festive dinner is the most acclaimed and long awaited from a year to the next. Wine drinking starts as of right followed by a selection of nibbles and then comes dinner; my mouth waters when I think of the turkey and rice!


This year, like every year, my parents in law invited the kids and us to spend Christmas dinner at their place. Mini cucumbers, peeled carrots, cherry tomatoes, fennel and crumps alongside green pistachio which they get from “Al Halabi roasters.”

Set on a green table cover, the decoration is breathtaking. A green table cover, colorful table runners, imprinted with Christmas designs, red under-plates yet simple white porcelain plates; these are changed at least four times during dinner. A complete set of cutlery from Villeroy&Boch, two forks, two knives and a spoon.


On tonight’s menu:

  • Old cuts, ham, turkey, salami, Italian salami.
  • Pâté and foie gras.
  • Seven kinds of European cheeses.
  • Turkey and chestnut rice.
  • Four cheese quiche.
  • Smoked salmon.
  • Pasta salad.
  • Sucrine and endives salad.
  • Pumpkin velouté.


The best salon out there we get from “Le Marin Traiteur,” an excellent selection of cheeses from the supermarket next door, homemade salads and quiche but the best is surely the turkey. Super tender, juicy inside out with a side of rice, cooked al dente and covered with crunchy nuts, I refilled my plate twice. 

Wine of the night: Pauillac 2004, Taillevent selection. 

Desserts... much more than a simple bûche, my mother-in-law Christmas lug-cakes are out of this world. No or little butter, the cakes are juicy and not buttery, soft inside out with thick layers of cream leaving after notes of rich aromas in the mouth. Four of them cakes, chocolate, coffee, chestnut, and almonds each is an experience on its own. 


A great feast... tomorrow is a new day this time at our place. Awaiting for thirty people to arrive, lunch at our place was expected to be super exciting. Colorful with touches of fun, the table had Kitkat chocolates, marshmallows and candy canes to decorate it. Silver placemats, white plates, red and green napkins, chandeliers decorations and a complete set of cutlery.

After the visit of Santa Claus and distribution of gifts it was drinking and food time! I chose a Lebanese wine, Chateau Kefraya, Comte de M 2009 and Karam Winery, Cloud Nine white. Salted almonds, cashew notes, kettle chips and my wide’s signature white cheese ball with crackers. The white cheese balls is a signature you’ve seen on Instagram several times already.


An enjoyable dinner and another enjoyable lunch I’ll leave you to enjoy in photos. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone hoping to spend together twelve months of interesting culinary discoveries.

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